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timokl3 07-17-2012 12:15 PM

Service cable
 
hope some one can help. I built my house in 2009 in eastern Wv. It is a one story ranch with full unfinished basement. The square footage of finished living space is about 3300 sq ft. It was wired with 400 amp service . 2/200 panels with 4/0 wire running out to the meter socket.

Whan the power company ran the service cable to the house thay only used 2/0 or smaller wire for the feeder. It is aproxmiantly 125' of wire ran under ground. That includes up the pole and to the meter socket. I think they under sized the wire? our electric bills are ver high for the size of our family. i also have a outdoor wood boiler that runs year around for heat in the winter and also hott water all year. Thoughts??

frenchelectrican 07-17-2012 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timokl3 (Post 967949)
hope some one can help. I built my house in 2009 in eastern Wv. It is a one story ranch with full unfinished basement. The square footage of finished living space is about 3300 sq ft. It was wired with 400 amp service . 2/200 panels with 4/0 wire running out to the meter socket.

Whan the power company ran the service cable to the house thay only used 2/0 or smaller wire for the feeder. It is aproxmiantly 125' of wire ran under ground. That includes up the pole and to the meter socket. I think they under sized the wire? our electric bills are ver high for the size of our family. i also have a outdoor wood boiler that runs year around for heat in the winter and also hott water all year. Thoughts??

Is the electrique meter at your house if so that is typical for POCO to do that.

As far for high electrique bills you will have to do little hunting to see what drawing the power all the time and see what you can do with it.

For your outdoor boiler do the eau ( water ) pump run all the time or on demand when the thermosat call for heat or more hot water ?

Oh the last thing did the POCO put in a smart meter in there ?

Merci,
Marc

timokl3 07-17-2012 01:17 PM

The meter is at the house.
the water pimp on the boiler runs non stop. its 110 volt pump and draws about 3 amps
as far as the meter not sure what a smart meter is?

zappa 07-17-2012 04:09 PM

2/0 is small for a 400 amp service but that shouldn't have any effect on your electric bill unless you are using serious amounts of power all at once, specifically motor type loads. Your circulator pump is using about 216 kilowatt hours per month. Look at your electric bill and calculate how much that is costing you per month.

andrew79 07-17-2012 05:53 PM

first off i'm going to burst your bubble and tell you you only have a 200A service. the conductors are aluminum feeders correct? that is the size for an aluminum 200A service, poco's cables are likely copper, 2/0 is the correct copper size for a 200A service. A quick guess(feel free to correct this) is that you would need around a 500mcm for a 400A service.

you do have a 3300 sq foot home so there's bound to be a fair bit of power used just for day to day use. One thing you can do is check your lines going out from your panel with a clamp on amp meter and see what lines are overdrawing

kbsparky 07-17-2012 08:05 PM

A 2/0 aluminum direct-buried wire is rated for 245 Amps continuous. I'd be willing to bet that if you exceeded that on a regular basis, you could not afford the electric bill!

Power companies are not required to abide by the limitations imposed by the NEC when designing and installing secondary services that they own and maintain.

Source: scroll down to chart on page 2

zappa 07-18-2012 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbsparky (Post 968291)
A 2/0 aluminum direct-buried wire is rated for 245 Amps continuous.

I have never seen such a high rating for 2/0. Is that because it's in direct contact with soil and using a 90C temperature rating?

stickboy1375 07-18-2012 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbsparky (Post 968291)
A 2/0 aluminum direct-buried wire is rated for 245 Amps continuous. I'd be willing to bet that if you exceeded that on a regular basis, you could not afford the electric bill!

Power companies are not required to abide by the limitations imposed by the NEC when designing and installing secondary services that they own and maintain.

Source: scroll down to chart on page 2

I concur, the utility company uses REAL data, not NEC data on what amperages are sufficient at a residential service.

AllanJ 07-18-2012 10:53 AM

Too skinny service wires and a big electric bill are two completely unrelated topics.

The problem with too thin wires shows up as voltage drop and/or wires unusually warm to the touch during times when large amounts of power are being used. Voltage drop, especially during the few seconds when something big like a whole house air conditioner starts up, can also be contributed to by the pole transformer and it is not easy to determine how much of the voltage drop is due to that.

About the boiler water pump running constantly, is it supposed to not cycle on and off?

Actually I would consider voltage drop in this example to be a non-issue.
According to my calculations, drawing all 400 amps through 250 feet (round trip) of 2/0 aluminum will suffer about ten volts of voltage drop, When the load is at least somewhat balanced between the two sides of the 120/240 volt line, the voltage drop seen at any 120 volt receptacle should be no more than seven volts (five volts when perfectly balanced). This is a worst case situation and in normal life you should seldom get up to half that (which means half the voltage drop).

kbsparky 07-18-2012 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zappa (Post 968583)
I have never seen such a high rating for 2/0. Is that because it's in direct contact with soil and using a 90C temperature rating?


I did provide a link for my source from SouthWire. I believe that those conditions you mentioned are part of the reason for the high ratings ...

zappa 07-18-2012 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbsparky (Post 968944)
I did provide a link for my source from SouthWire. I believe that those conditions you mentioned are part of the reason for the high ratings ...

Thanks kb I followed the link. Just wondering about the high amperage.

Yoyizit 07-18-2012 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timokl3 (Post 967949)
our electric bills are ver high for the size of our family.

Can you provide a link that relates family size to elec. consumption? I can always use data like this.

BTW, in the US, the avg. house takes ~9 megawatthours per year. If the avg. family size is 2.8 this is ~3 megawatthours per person per year.

We two take half this much and I've heard that Al Gore's house at the USNO took 20 kw all the time until this tidbit became public knowledge. Maybe he was arc-welding. :laughing:

stickboy1375 07-18-2012 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zappa (Post 968992)
Thanks kb I followed the link. Just wondering about the high amperage.

The NEC is very restrictive with wire amperages, where utilities get full range.

andrew79 07-18-2012 08:17 PM

if he's only got 4/0 running out to the meter how does he have a 400A service? does he have two separate runs going out?

again the service size has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of hydro he's using but i'm curious.

jlmran 07-18-2012 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrew79
if he's only got 4/0 running out to the meter how does he have a 400A service? does he have two separate runs going out?

again the service size has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of hydro he's using but i'm curious.

He could have 12 awg wires as service conductors, and if they are protected by a 400 amp breaker, then he has 400 amp service. Improper conductor size doesn't necessarily determine service (or circuit) capacity...I think.

Conversely, a circuit which uses 8 awg conductors with a 15 amp breaker is still only a 15 amp circuit.

Excluding transformer values/data, Doesn't the OCPD determine the current value of a service or circuit?


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